MSE News

Charged a wait fee by Uber when the driver was early? You CAN get it back

Charged a wait fee by Uber when the driver was early? You CAN get it back

Some Uber passengers who booked journeys in advance have reported being charged wait fees when the driver arrived before the scheduled time – but if this happens to you, you CAN get a refund.

Many Uber customers will request a ride on the spot and wait for an available driver – but Uber also gives customers in major UK cities the option of scheduling rides in advance when booking an UberX car.

Customers who book a scheduled ride will be given a 10-minute window when their driver is expected to arrive, but some passengers have reported being charged 'wait fees' when their driver arrives before the start of this slot.

The problem seems to happen because drivers are directed to passengers who book scheduled rides as if it's a normal pick-up, and so won't necessarily realise they've arrived earlier than the scheduled time. And if the driver waits for more than two minutes after they record that they've arrived, the app will automatically start adding wait fees, as per Uber's usual rules.

The charges can vary depending on your location and the time of your ride, but can be around 25p per minute of waiting.

So if you've used scheduled rides with Uber in the past, it's worth checking your account to see if you've been charged any wait fees that should be refunded.

'Why did I have to pay a wait fee – my driver was 15 minutes early?'

One MoneySaver, Craig, told us he'd found this to be a common occurrence when booking scheduled rides with Uber, although he'd managed to have the fees, which were £1.35 in the case of one booking, refunded after phoning customer services.

He said: "The customer doesn't expect an early arrival and then either has to rush out to the cab, or make the cab wait until the appointed time and risk fees."

Other Uber customers have also shared similar experiences on social media:

How does Uber's scheduled ride feature work?

Uber's scheduled ride feature is available for UberX passengers in Greater London, and in the centres of Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne.

You can schedule a ride between 10 minutes and 30 days in advance of when you want to travel. You book a slot of 10 minutes, and your driver should arrive within this window.

The price of a scheduled ride should be the same as a normal pick-up – you'll be given an estimate of how much the fare will be when you book, although this isn't the guaranteed price. You also might have to pay surge pricing  – when fares increase at times where there's a lot of demand for Uber drivers – if this applies when you travel.

Uber also can't guarantee that you'll actually get your ride as scheduled. If there are no drivers available when it comes to your scheduled time, you'll be notified straightaway and your ride may be cancelled.

How can I get a refund?

Uber has confirmed that if your driver arrived early and you were charged a wait fee, you CAN get this money paid back to your bank account.

To check whether you've been charged the fee, open your Uber app or account and select 'Your Trips'. You can then open receipts from individual trips and check for a 'wait fee'.

If you've been charged the fee when your driver was early, you can contact Uber for a refund using the 'Help' section of the app or by calling 0808 169 7335. You can also get in touch on Twitter or by sending a message on Facebook or Facebook Messenger.

Megan French, consumer expert at MoneySavingExpert.com, said: "Even though the refunds may only be a few pounds in some cases, it's still worth checking your account to see if you've been charged wait fees when your driver arrived early, as it's money you shouldn't have paid."